ADHD and Addiction
About ADHD and Addiction
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a neurological disorder that is often diagnosed during childhood and is commonly associated with the inability to hold your attention for a long time, doing boring or repetitive tasks, or even staying still. For some struggling with ADHD and addiction, the link between the two can be somewhat complex. When an individual is addicted to painkillers or heroin addiction the need for drug detox and inpatient drug rehab in Huntington Beach becomes vital for recovery. ADHD and addiction have long been a debated issue. For some adults and teenagers dealing with the disruptive effects of ADHD, the prescribed medications to alleviate some of the more intense symptoms can cause drug dependency themselves.
Whether the individual is dealing with Ritalin addiction or Ritalin dependency, the negative impacts can be far-reaching. Even for individuals taking their ADHD medications as prescribed, the drugs can have negative side effects that many will try and self-treat with other drugs. ADHD and Addiction are more common than most people understand. When someone is struggling with drug addiction or meth addiction there are signs and symptoms. Academic performance and work can be negatively impacted by this disorder and harm social development, and the addition of other drugs can further damage progress. Attempts to self-medicate feelings of pain and despair might work in the short-term but it leads to damaging effects in the long run. Untreated ADHD can lead to incarceration, domestic violence, high-risk behaviors, and in some cases, death.
ADHD and Addiction Facts
More than 15% of people with ADHD suffer from drug abuse or are dependent upon drugs or alcohol, marijuana being the drug most often abused. People with this condition need something to calm them down and help them sleep better, which means that they don’t necessarily use these substances to get high but rather to get the peace and quiet they want. It is a way to improve one’s mood also. Causes for ADHD might be genetic or trauma (brain injury or tumor, stroke, disease). Being exposed to toxic substances in the womb such as tobacco or alcohol can also cause ADHD, lead exposure is also a potential cause of hyperactivity. Abusing substances such as drugs or alcohol help people suffering from ADHD to compensate for their lower level of dopamine.
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ADHD and Addiction Signs and Symptoms
These symptoms may vary from one individual to the other and depend on the type of ADHD the patient is suffering from.
There are three main categories of symptoms:
- Lack of focus and inability to pay attention
- Hyperactivity and non-stop physical activity
- Impulsive behavior
Several patterns can be seen among those 3 categories:
- Difficulty listening to other people
- Forgetting things
- Being easy to distract
- Not finishing the task at hand
- Having difficulty organizing and dealing with responsibilities
- Not being able to control speech and actions
An adult suffering from ADHD will have a hard time focusing on work. Misplacing items or forgetting important appointments will be a frequent occurrence. Relationships will be difficult too since the person suffering from this disorder speaks without thinking beforehand and doesn’t pay attention to others which might offend some friends and family members.
ADHD and Addiction Recovery and Treatment
A dual diagnosis approach is often the best way to treat both ADHD and substance abuse at the same time. Treatment can be a challenge since the medications used are addictive and habit-forming too: Adderall and Ritalin are stimulants that can manage the symptoms effectively but might be abused by patients. Both addiction and ADHD should be monitored at all times during the treatment and recovery process. it is the best way to reduce delinquency. Counseling is one way to treat both issues, and it can be coupled with family therapy and holistic therapy. The goal is to build self-esteem first of all and also to modify self-destructive behaviors while identifying what triggers substance abuse and teaching patients how to manage their impulses. Friends and relatives should also be educated about ADHD in order to be able to help the patent on his/her journey to recovery.